Renmin Chinese Law Review
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Renmin Chinese Law Review

Selected Papers of The Jurist (法学家), Volume 1

Edited by Jichun Shi

Renmin Chinese Law Review, Vol. 1 is the first work in a series of annual volumes on contemporary Chinese law, which bring together the work of recognised scholars from China, offering a window on current legal research in China.
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Chapter 4: On the changes in the Chinese legal system for implementing WTO laws

Selected Papers of The Jurist (法学家), Volume 1

Zhang Naigen


It has been ten years since China acceded to the World Trade Organization (WTO). WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy later noted, ‘China’s historic accession to the WTO in November 2001 is among the most important events in the history of the WTO and the multilateral trading system. . . . [i]t is also a highly significant event in the history of modern China.’ The most significant change of China’s accession to the WTO was that China had been the second largest country in terms of trade volume since 2009. In particular, China’s contribution increased further in 2009 in spite of the negative impacts of the global financial crisis, contributing significantly to the partial recovery of the global economy. With respect to the relation between international law and domestic law, the significance of changes in the Chinese legal system after accession to the WTO would prove even greater than the reestablishment of the Chinese legal system three decades ago. This article will discuss the changes to the Chinese legal system with three focuses: (1) the domestic implementation of WTO laws and related changes to the Chinese legal system, (2) some detailed description of changes made for the purposes of implementing WTO laws, and (3) reflections on further changes needed to meet the requirements of WTO laws.

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